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There are companies that burst onto the scene producing not one, but several innovative products and there are companies that promise lots of tech that just sounds too good to be true. Which category ETV Motors falls into is yet to be determined, but their recent demonstration of a proof-of-concept range extended electric vehicle (REEV) utilizing a microturbine for power generation should certainly have folks discussing both possibilities. While they are not the first to use a microturbine as a range extender, they claim that their machine is superior to current state-of-the-art examples and will reach efficiencies of up to 60 percent in the final production version.

Using a Prius as their prototype platform, they replaced the stock nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery with large format lithium ion one and installed a liquid fueled gas turbine to charge it. Apparently, the gas engine in the vehicle was disabled for the test. In operation, the turbine's "quiet whisper" was, according to ETV Motors chief executive Dror Ben David,"music to our ears." Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be video available of the session, so we can't share this sweet sound with you.

Perhaps even a bigger breakthrough is the battery tech the Israeli company is developing. While it's unclear whether it was involved in the REEV demonstration, they are working on a couple different cells using lithium manganese nickel oxide (LMNS). The best of these is said provide 240 Wh/kg, be capable of achieving over 3,000 cycles and cost as little as $200/kWh. Impressive stuff indeed though, as with so many ventures in their infancy, time will tell. Hit the jump for video for ETV Motors COO talking up his company as well as the official press release.

[Source: ETV Motors via Green Car Congress]


ETV Motors successfully completes milestone demonstration of turbine-charged electric vehicle

2009-07-11 23:01:36 - ETV Motors Ltd. announced the successful completion of a milestone test of its novel Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) architecture. A gas microturbine generator re-charges the battery when it depletes, enabling the vehicle's driving range to be significantly extended. For this test drive, ETVM engineers modified a Toyota Prius, replacing the nickel metal hydride battery with a large-format Lithium Ion battery. A liquid fueled, gas turbine generator was retrofitted to the car to charge the battery.

HERZLIYA, Israel – July 12, 2009: ETV Motors Ltd. (ETVM), an Israeli start-up developing innovative electric-vehicle (EV) propulsion technology, announced today it had successfully completed a milestone test of its novel Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) architecture.

The company's REEV architecture includes an on-board charger. While the vehicle is in motion, a gas microturbine generator re-charges the battery when it depletes. Re-charging the battery's energy level in this way enables the vehicle's driving range to be significantly extended

For its milestone test drive, the company modified a Toyota Prius sedan, replacing its factory-supplied nickel metal hydride battery with a large-format Lithium Ion battery. A liquid fueled, gas turbine generator was retrofitted to the car to charge the battery.

With its standard internal combustion engine disabled, the customized vehicle operates as a plug-in hybrid, complete with onboard range extender.

ETV Motors' innovative new battery and microturbine technology leverages advanced nanotechnology and aviation engineering principles to deliver greater energy efficiency than today's hybrid electric vehicle platforms. Automobile and automotive subsystem manufacturers utilizing ETV Motors' REEV architecture to power automotive EV drivetrains will ensure significantly longer driving ranges and lower operating costs for their customers.

"This milestone is a major pre-requisite for materializing our vision of plug-in EVs equipped with fuel-efficient, low-emission gas turbines for range extension", commented ETV Motors chief executive Dror Ben David.

"To those of us working to make the vision real, the on-board turbine's quiet whisper was music to our ears."

... ... ...

About ETV Motors Ltd: ETVM is developing and commercializing novel technology for electrical vehicle propulsion. It draws on the interdisciplinary experience of a team with strong backgrounds in industry and academia. The company was established in 2008. More information at www.etvmotors.com

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed. I don't understand why people keep trying to turn the Prius into an EV when it's not designed for it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Chris et al, I went to the company website and they mentioned some of the techniques in the comments above. In particular the heat capture is discussed at length. They say their turbine team includes power generation engineers as well as jet aircraft engineers and other turbine specialists working with top universities in collaboration with their team. So maybe they have "most" of what they claim. They also project commercial models ready for sale by the end of 2010.

      The comments above about using a Prius as a platform for a REEV....I agree.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "efficiencies of up to 60%"

      I'm calling BS! The BEST combined cycle turbine power plaints struggle to reach 60%. If you could do this with a microturbine, you have enough of a product to not bother with all the REEV stuff in your first public demo.

      Seriously, if your a startup you decide to make the first application for this technology is the unproven market of REEVs instead of selling to generators who would kill for a 60% efficient simple cycle turbine.
        • 5 Years Ago

        • 5 Years Ago
        Well, hybridization, properly applied, can increase efficiency a bit, but nowhere near that "60%" claim. The GE H System turbogenerator gets 60% efficiency, but only because it uses several efficiency boosting devices that are far too bulky for automotive use.

        So, yep, it sounds like they are wildly exaggerating their claim. That brings into question all of their other claims as well. The mention of their "growing patent portfolio" leads me to suspect some hyping to boost investment. Time will tell if it turns out to be bogus, but I wouldn't invest a dime unless they presented substantial proof of their claims.
      • 3 Years Ago
      every car should installed microturbine charger where car can generate and stored energy when car runs even at low speed. that energy can be used for the the car itself as well household light in the evening.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the battery specs are true then it's pretty impressive. It has better density than Tesla's cells and has 6x the life cycle. And for that price, $10k will buy you enough cells to build the same size pack as the Tesla Roadster.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Disabling the IC engine in the Prius limits speed and power. I would have been much more impressed if they had figured out a way to replace the IC engine with a gas turbine!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I would put a fuel vaporizer on this thing and run it on domestic E-85...

      Or use an onboard ethanol to hydrogen reformer, and run it on a 50-50 solution of domestic ethanol-water...

      That would eliminate foreign oil.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They should couple the micro turbine with a heat energy generator like a stirling engine or the bmw exhaust heat generator.
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